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Give yourself permission

Artists and creators have a real knack for distraction. Seems there’s always another task competing for our attention, or the minute we sit down to work the phone rings.

What if we looked to set ourselves up for success with containers that support our creative process? Do you need to schedule time to create? Set an alarm? Go for a walk?

Anticipate the demands on your attention and energy. What do you need to feel freer to create?

4 steps to change someone’s day

  1. Think of someone you admire or care for.
  2. Choose the medium: email, letter, message, text, napkin. It doesn’t have to be long, but write from your heart.
  3. Share how this person inspires you or what you appreciate about them. Consider including a fond memory.
  4. Close your note with something you’re thankful for.

Your message could change someone’s day (your own, too). I’m curious! Tell me what happens @redheadlefthand.

Go on an Inspiration Walk

  1. Set a timer or alarm for ten minutes. Carry this with you.
  2. Start walking in one direction. Resist the urge to check your phone. Instead, pay attention to your senses: What do you feel, see, hear, smell, taste?
  3. If you struggle to focus, concentrate on your footsteps and notice your feet on the ground. What does the ground feel like? What do you hear as your foot strikes the surface?
  4. When your alarm goes off, return along the same route. See if you notice anything different from your initial journey.
  5. Upon returning to your starting point, set your timer for another ten minutes and write about your experience.

This is an Inspiration Walk.

Note: You’re not walking to solve a problem or cultivate inspiration (though either may occur); you’re walking to walk. Often by focusing on the present, the greatest sources of magic are found…

Tell me what you notice @redheadlefthand.

Own your story

Your value proposition may change.

Your origin story will not.

While small businesses may not have the resources needed to build huge international brands, we HAVE STORIES.

Use those stories. Own them.

Stories connect. They can rally communities, encourage investment, and help people remember who you are and why you’re doing what you’re doing.

Remember: YOU are the secret ingredient as you build your business. Why? Because no one is creating the way you create.

No one builds as you build.

Your uniqueness is an asset.

Want help understanding your story? Reach out.

Community is good business

When I log onto LinkedIn, I see a slew of “Community Manager” job postings. It’s taken awhile, but businesses have finally realized the value of community. The problem? Building community isn’t easy.

Maybe you’re trying to build platforms to encourage discussion and facilitate learnings. Perhaps you’re wanting to bring together like-minded individuals and introduce professionals with complementary viewpoints. Or you’re needing support yourself and craving the encouragement of those with common interests.

How should you begin?

Revisiting your why can help you focus on the work and your audience — not your own insecurities, anxieties, or ego. No community is built overnight; it takes time to establish trust and reputation within any group of people. And most likely, you will have to step outside of some comfort zones.

Whether you’re growing an online community or building a network within your neighborhood, you’ll be faced with tactical choices. How do you communicate? What are the rules of engagement? Are finances needed? How much energy and time is required from participants? When cultivating community (or looking for communities to join) consider these prompts:

Think of the communities you are part of. How do you show up? What do you gain? What do you offer? Who are you meeting?

Think of the communities you grow. What do they expect from you? Why are they there? What are they hoping to learn? Who would they like to meet?

Let me know how this exercise works for you. I’d recommend a solid fifteen minutes of free-writing. Don’t edit yourself, just go!

10 strategies to break out of a writing rut

If something keeps getting in your way when you sit down to write, you’re not alone. These moments happen (often), and it’s part of the work to know what you can do to show up anyway. It doesn’t matter how you crawl out of a non-writing writing hole, but the important thing is that you do. You can. And you will.

Here’s a list of 10 ways you can help yourself out of any writing rut:

  1. Write for one. Stop thinking about an entire audience. Write for one person. Think about what they want to hear, what they are excited to read about, what they need to succeed.
  2. Test something. Observe your blogs, social media content, and emails. Which stories fail? Which aspects get results? Use a variety of writing tactics and watch what lands.
  3. Show up. Instead of striving for “A” work, let yourself pass with a “C.” It doesn’t need to be pretty or good; sometimes the best work evolves from something subpar.
  4. Get personal. Let your feelings and emotions guide you. Follow whatever threads of excitement and curiosity you can muster.
  5. Choose a lane. And stick to it. Seth’s Lifeguard Hack is helpful.
  6. Just go. Push forward, regardless. Set a timer for ten minutes and write. You can leave when the alarm goes off.
  7. Distract yourself. Write something else. Not the thing you’re wanting to write, something else entirely. Play with lists and incoherent phrases. Write a story. Get creative then come back to the task at hand.
  8. You good? You good. Remind yourself how fabulous you are. Write down all of the things you know you do well, projects you’re proud of, accomplishments, battles you’ve fought through, and goals you’ve reached.
  9. Say no. Saying no to things that zap your energy and impact your boundaries will create more energetic space. Say no to tasks that take you away from writing.
  10. Create structure. Using your calendar in a purposeful way can help you feel more empowered and focused so you can get work done. Structure your day into manageable chunks, or dedicate a specific day of the week for particular tasks.

Creating movement in one area can unlock momentum in another. What tricks do you use to get unstuck? Tweet me @redheadlefthand.